Our nature table got a little transformation for the last couple of weeks of school and became beach themed as we began our final inquiry on tide pools.
We began by making a K-W-L chart of what we already knew about tide pools and our wonders which would serve as our guide during the inquiry. After that we watched a handful of video clips and read mentor texts to build up our schema. You can check out our read-alouds here and playlist here below...
We had one thinking routine for this inquiry. I put out shells, a dried sea star, an abalone, and illustrated reference guide on tide pool life.
A shell sorting activity had a large basket of shells out for the students to organize any way they wanted to. Some students chose to sort them by size while others did so by type using nomenclature cards.
Students drew what they thought sand would look like under a microscope. They had one picture as a hint. Later I showed them several shots of sand up-close.
Students also had opportunities to play at the light table with loose parts (shells, glass beads, and small plastic animals) to orally share their creative stories involving tide pool creatures.
Having learned about shells and how sand is made and formed, each student made a clay imprint of a shell of their choice from our nature center. After the imprints had dried, they painted them to look like they were lying in the sand or in the water.
The next day we preformed two science experiments to learn about wave movement--how it rises and falls. Our first experiment had us reenact the affects of high and low tide on the life forms that live in tide pools which you can read in more detail in this previous post.
The second experiment had the children make wave bottles using baby oil, water, and food coloring (you can get the full directions here).
For math we used Ocean Measuring Palooza to practice and review our measuring skills. The students especially loved the activity where they measured how tall they each were in crabs.
And finally, we had some special show-n-tell items that students had found on their own trips to ocean in summers past.